COVID-19 scams are on the rise
2020 has been a bad year for scams, possibly one of the worst on record. Will 2021 be better? If January and February are indicators, then no.
CHARLOTTE, NC – It’s no secret that 2020 hasn’t been a good year – but it has been a good year for scammers.
the Better Business Bureau reports that scams are on the rise from the previous year, meaning law enforcement and consumer protection advocates have been busier than ever.
Is this going to be a trend for the coming year?
“It looks that way, especially if January and February are indicators. There’s an old saying, today’s headlines are tomorrow’s scams and the headline of the day right now is the stimulus and a lot of them, ”Tom Bartholomy of the Charlotte Better Business Bureau mentionned.
Computer scams, SMS scams, robocall scams. It was launched on consumers from all directions and by 2020 scammers were attacking all ages. The crooks called Paul, 80, at the end of 2020 and found themselves in his computer and then in his bank account with an anti-virus scam.
The counterfeiters used a legitimate business and a good trick, a trick that took Paul months to get back on track with his bank.
“It will haunt you for weeks,” said Paul.
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Luckily, Paul got all of his money back, but he’s part of the 25% increase in scams in 2020, 103 pandemic-related scams and more. Vaccines, incentives, work-from-home scams, whatever you want.
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Bartholomy has been helping WCNC consumer reporter Bill McGinty sort out scams for years. So far, January and February of this year have been just as ripe, especially with a $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package getting ready to drop money in your mailbox.
This is in addition to the unemployment scams which seem to be the most prevalent, targeting the 18-24 age group.
“This group is more confident, less aware of scams and willing to ‘click here’ in a blind message or email,” Bartholomy said.
“When they blindly click here they don’t realize what they are doing is loading malware on their system, or a pop-up will appear asking for your name, address, number. social security and your banking information because we are going to pay you by direct deposit to your account, ”Bartholomy said.
This is a demographic that could be a little more gullible, so parents, now is the time to warn them about these opportunities and jobs that may sound too good to be true.